Target: Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid
Goal: Applaud the Moroccan government for changing the Penal Code to prevent rapists from marrying their victims and ask for continued reforms to protect women.
Morocco’s Penal Code used to allow rapists to marry their victims in exchange for avoiding charges. A 16 –year-old girl recently committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist. The marriage was encouraged by the judge to spare the families “shame.” Sign the petition to applaud the Justice Minister for the long overdue change and ask that he continue to reform the Penal Code to protect women.
Article 475 of the Penal Code used to allow men convicted of “kidnapping” or “corruption” of a minor to marry their victims to escape punishment. Their family and the judge often forced the victim to marry the rapist to spare the family’s honor. 16-year-old Amina al-Filali was sexually assaulted and forced by the judge into an abusive marriage with her 23-year-old rapist. To escape the situation she committed suicide by poisoning herself. While the legal age of marriage in Morocco is 18-years-old, judges will often allow minors to marry. The article is now being modified to create a 10-year prison sentence for corruption of a minor with a double sentence if the sex results in “deflowering.”
In many ways Morocco’s Penal Code is still troublingly archaic. “The law doesn’t recognise certain forms of violence against women, such as conjugal rape, while it still penalises other normal behaviour like sex outside of marriage between adults.” A law that protects women from violence has languished in Parliament since 2004. Sign the petition to applaud the change to the penal code and demand continued reform to protect women.
Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid,
I am writing as a human rights activist to applaud the change to Article 475 of the Penal Code. The suicide of 16-year-old Amina al-Filali following her coerced abusive marriage to her 23-year-old rapist was tragic and avoidable. The Moroccan Penal Code must be reformed to better protect women. Antiquated notions of “deflowering” and family honor must be cast aside to better serve the interest of women as individuals. Judges should not be permitted to marry girls under 18 years old.
Marital rape is another problem that Morocco faces. Government statistics show that 50% of sexual assaults are through marital rape. The Penal Code must recognize marital rape as a punishable offense. Finally, a violence against women law that has been languishing in Parliament since 2004 should be passed. These measures will help protect the women of Morocco from sexual violence.
I hope you consider my thoughts.
[Your Name Here]